Delisting: SEC, Court Okay GSK Share Buyback

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal High Court have approved the plan of Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc to buy back its shares from minority shareholders.

This was revealed in a notice filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Thursday.

GSK in August announced plans to shut down its operations in the country, saying that its parent company, GSK Plc UK, had decided to cease commercialisation of its prescription medicines and vaccines through its Nigerian subsidiary and transition to a third-party direct distribution model for its pharmaceutical products.

The pharma said that the regulatory approvals followed the court-ordered meeting held in December, during which the shareholders of the company approved the proposed Scheme of Arrangement.

The minority investors agreed that their shares should be acquired at the rate of N17. 42 per unit.

“GSK Consumer Nigeria hereby notifies Nigerian Exchange Limited, our esteemed shareholders, and other stakeholders that the company has now received Securities and Exchange Commission’s formal approval of the scheme.

“The order of the Federal High Court sanctioning the Scheme of Arrangement has also been obtained,” part of the statement read.

It noted that an application for the delisting of the company’s shares from the NGX would soon be submitted.

The exit plans of the company had garnered reactions from shareholders, who called on the government to stem the tide of companies leaving the country.

In 2023, a number of multinational firms announced the shutting down of their operations in Nigeria.

Apart from GSK, Procter & Gamble, Jumia Food, Bolt Food, Sanofi & Aventi, and Equinor, have either shut down or announced plans to quit the country.

GSK Nigeria was incorporated in 1971.

46.4 per cent of the shares of the company are held by Setfirst Limited and Smithkline Beecham Limited (both incorporated in the United Kingdom); and 53.6 per cent by Nigerian shareholders.